Victor Wembanyama, Chet Holmgren put on a show in head-to-head NBA preseason debuts

No person advised Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren that it is the preseason.

The rising rookies stars placed on a present Monday as every of them made their NBA debuts. Holmgren’s Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder beat Wembanyama’s San Antonio Spurs, 122-121. However the closing rating wasn’t the topic of curiosity right here.

The highlight was squarely on the efficiency of the rising 7-foot-plus stars of their first matchup on an NBA courtroom. They delivered, placing on show their unprecedented mixture of measurement, capturing, ability and athleticism in a head-to-head matchup within the publish and past.

The primary quarter was a showcase as Wembanyama tallied 10 factors and a block whereas hitting 4 of his first 5 photographs. His trailing block of a Jalen Williams layup try confirmed simply how exhausting life shall be on the basket for would-be scorers in San Antonio.

Holmgren countered with 14 first-quarter factors and 7 rebounds. He put his vary on show with a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer on the sideline.

He repeatedly showcased his versatility by grabbing rebounds on protection then holding onto the ball to run the Thunder quick break.

Halfway via the primary, Wembanyama poked the ball unfastened from a driving Cason Wallace, then took off operating to the opposite basket. Malaki Branham corralled the unfastened ball then hit a driving Wembanyama in stride at halfcourt en path to a transition dunk. Holmgren responded by driving coast-to-coast for an and-one layup.

Within the second quarter, Wembanyama obtained the very best of a defending Holmgren with an acrobatic scoop shot on the rim after driving from past the 3-point arc.

The pair then traded back-to-back 3-pointers from the highest of the important thing.

Ultimately, Wembanyama tallied 20 factors, 5 rebounds, two steals and one block whereas capturing 8 for 13 from the sector and a couple of for five from 3-point distance. He did all of it in 19 minutes of play.

Holmgren posted 21 factors, 9 rebounds and one block whereas capturing 7 of 10 from the sector and hitting each of this 3-point makes an attempt. He did his injury in 16 minutes as each gamers sat a lot of the second half.

It was the kind of efficiency from each gamers that ought to have the NBA and its followers salivating.

Wembanyama’s lastly within the NBA after years of anticipation because the most-hyped prospect since LeBron James in 2003. Holmgren, the No. 2 decide within the 2022 draft, is making his delayed debut after after a Lisfranc harm price him his whole rookie season. Their respective groups which have surrounded them with younger expertise are hoping they anchor a Western Convention rivalry for years to come back.

If it is a signal of the longer term, the NBA is in good arms.

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